Worrying about mess is the number #1 reason parents don’t encourage messy (and FUN!) activities with their kids. Instead, many send their kids elsewhere (programs!) to make a mess just to avoid the perceived lengthy clean-up.
Give your kids the fun and lessons they deserve by allowing them to make a mess! Creativity can’t always be contained and messy, sloppy, sticky moments can be key learning moments. If you’re a busy mom and your child is old enough, a team clean-up can part of the lesson!
Having a few clean-up tools like paper towels and a spray water bottle ready in advance can make even the messiest summer activities a breeze. It’s about perspective and preparation and if a parent can get over the idea of a mess, the child will learn so much more from the experience.
There’s nothing more fun than getting dirty on purpose! Body painting in their undies or bathing suits will seem downright bizarre and oh-so-daring to your little ones, especially when they are typically reminded NOT to colour on themselves!
Introducing instant pudding as the “paint” makes it an easier clean up than regular paint. A quick wipe or hose down and the pudding is gone! Pudding is edible (obviously!) which is both yummy and more safe for young ones who get right into sensory activities with all their tastebuds! The only thing left behind is a hint of a sweet smell—but who doesn’t love smelling like vanilla or chocolate??
The joy of squishing mud between their fingers is a sensation that kids don’t forget. Whether it’s splashing in an old fashioned nature-generated mud puddle or self-creating one with water and dirt—it’s a joy of childhood that should not be missed.
Dirt can be squished, built into structures like sand castles, even painted with! Given that it’s dirt, most activities happen outside which keep your floors clean, even if your kid isn’t. Clean kids quickly with a wet paper towel and they’re ready for the next activity!
One of our favourite things to do is create massive murals with finger paint. It's super easy! Roll out long rolls of paper outside and tell your children to create a masterpiece. Paint can be squirted right on the paper or into muffin tins or paper plate palettes. Finger painting is about fingers but providing a variety of art tools will expand their creativity—paintbrushes, toothbrushes, sponges, stamps, and cookie cutters are great inspiration. Look around the garden for natural inspiration and paint with a pinecone or stamp with a dandelion head—this is the time to experiment. AND get messy!
Summer is about memories and exploration—mess can remove inhibition and allow kids to learn more about themselves.
Let them get messy. If you’re stocked in clean-up supplies and ready for their fun, you may be inspired to jump into the messy summer fun too!
Check out our Messy Summer Fun section full of tips, tricks and advice to keep on top of summer messes while having a great time.